All the Nats needed was for their impressive lineup to produce something-not a huge explosion of extra base hits and runs, but a couple strung-together hits, here and there, enough to gain the lead-against Hendricks. You have to capitalize on mistakes if they are forthcoming, especially a game like that.
After Jon Lester turned in six innings of one-run ball, the Chicago Cubs bullpen imploded in spectacular fashion, as part of a five-run eighth inning that gave the Washington Nationals a 6-3 win in Game 2 Saturday night. He set the tone for the Cubs from the first night, opening the NLDS against the Giants with eight shutout innings.
"People say, 'Don't try to be a hero, ' " said Rizzo, the general manager of the Washington Nationals. "No. No!" He surrendered just two hits and none following the second inning while, according to Maddon, finding a way to add more speed to his pitches while not sacrificing his trademark control.
Let's get this out of the way first - I'm a Cardinals fans and I wasn't rooting for the Cubs last year and I'm not rooting for them this year.
Until the sixth, Strasburg was simply filthy.
Anthony Rendon also homered for the Nationals, while Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras went yard for the Cubs.
Martinez, who came up with the Cubs in 1986 and played 16 years as a big-league outfielder, said he thinks the Cubs' run of playoff appearances should help his chances this time around.
Hendricks bunted Baez to second.
After two flyouts, Zimmerman, whose long primary leads didn't coax a throw over form the tentative Lester, seized matters and swiped second base. The cutoff man almost got him at second, but replay confirmed he was safe. Next up, Anthony Rizzo knocked an RBI single as well, giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead and officially delivering the Bryzzo connection. The Nationals will start Max Scherzer, the NL Cy Young favorite whose strained hamstring prevented him from starting either of the first two games. St. Louis doesn't necessarily need a complete rebuild like the Cubs, but there are lessons and strategies to glean - more emphasis on impact athletes as position players in the draft, and a looser clubhouse atmosphere among them. Strasburg posted ERAs of 1.89 in July, 0.86 in August and 0.38 in September. His six innings of two-hit, one-run ball Saturday was fantastic.
Hendricks, the 2016 MLB ERA leader, gave up only two hits and three walks. But by the time the eighth inning drew to a close, things felt very different. But Maddon liked what he saw recently from Wilson, including in a simulated game this week.
"Honestly, he's feeling really good", Maddon said. "It's hard to get a group of singles against this particular pitcher tonight".
It's an fantastic bare-handed catch before you even factor in that it was over a railing, and it's pretty incredible that he reeled it in without bobbling the ball at all. But at the same time, the Cubs seem to have become the benefactor of some good luck lately. "You know, just got to go out there, see the ball, and try to hit it the best I can".
Jay wound up figuring in the scoring.